In recent news, some senators are proposing some immigration reforms, which may include some form of amnesty for current illegal immigrants. This post is partially a response to some commentary I’ve read so therefore it is a two part series. The first part will paint the picture of an illegal immigrant’s life choices and put it in perspective. The second will outline why I think
So, imagine a situation where you can move to a new city and provide a life for your family orders of magnitudes better than your current situation. Your job pays better. Your neighborhood is safer. Your food is better quality. Your kid’s schools are better. Your home is nicer. Everything is better. The only difference is you have to cross state lines, i.e. Kentucky to Oklahoma. But Oklahoma doesn’t want you. They put up fences to keep you out. Even if you have skills in high demand in Oklahoma, it doesn’t matter. To make matters worse, Oklahoma pays lip service to wanting you to enter its boundaries. They say, “just get in line” or “wait your turn”. But time is money, money is your future, and even more so your kids’ future. You’d gladly pay a year’s salary to get to Oklahoma, because you know you can make it back in 3 months once you get inside. But, they won’t take it. Then you realize, that for a crime equivalent to a speeding ticket, you can sneak into Oklahoma. You wouldn’t be hurting anyone. Its a petty civil violation anyways, so why not? Hell, you’ll probably speed on the highway to get to Oklahoma anyways, so it really doesn’t matter.
Redraw the line as the Mexican border and magnify the poor living conditions in Kentucky 100x and magnify the great living conditions in Oklahoma 100x and you have illegal immigration. If you break the law and enter illegally, you don’t have to worry about your kids attending a school where the librarian is raped, murdered, and hung from a freeway overpass by local drug lord to keep the community in check. You get opportunities that were only silly dreams, at the cost of a speeding ticket. You hurt nobody. You work hard, you’d pay taxes if you could. By all measures except one, you’d make an outstanding U.S. citizen. You find me a U. S. citizen that wouldn’t make the same decision for his or her family. Remember that the next time you hear someone demonizing illegal immigration. You are no better than them, you just got lucky and were born on the right side of an imaginary line.
Now, irrespective of the blight of the illegal immigrant, immigration reform will have some sort of amnesty in it. If it doesn’t, the reform is probably not worth enacting anyways because it would address the real problem. The real problem of immigration is that it is too hard to immigrate legally. As Reason.com points out, immigration is a ridiculous set of hurdles, regulations, red tape, and bureaucracy.
Now, for the moment, lets assume that immigration is properly reformed. To assume that the millions of people here would leave for 10 years to immigrate back is just ridiculous. That’s like saying that all of the blacks in jail for sit-ins should remain in jail even after Jim Crow laws were abolished. Liberty should always be retro-active. Its just common sense. The easy thing to do is grant permanent residency to anyone who can pass a background check, much like the background checks the FBI forces all gun purchasers to submit. Pass the test, get a green card. Pay taxes. Work hard. Make a better life for your family. Its that simple.
What thoughts do you have on the subject? Philosophy only please – there is no room for politics here.